This easy preparation will take you about five minutes to prepare and about an hour to bake. It’s a Grain Bake and birds love it.
Grain Bake is a casserole. And it is as nutritious as what you decide to put in it. It is a combination of grains, healthy seeds, beans, and either fresh fruit or vegetables. It goes together in no time at all and cooks in a casserole dish in the oven in about an hour or so.
You simply add the ingredients to a greased casserole dish with a lid, mix them, cover the ingredients with water pop the lid on and place in a 350-degree oven for about an hour or until all of the water is absorbed.
It’s about as easy as you can get. Grain Bake freezes beautifully and you serve it alongside fresh vegetables and other healthy food.
It’s a flexible dish. You use uncooked oatmeal as a base and add whatever grains or vegetables you have on hand.
Some possibilities of grain additions include:
- mung beans
- wild rice
Other ingredients to change up the flavor are:
- frozen or fresh vegetables
- fresh fruit such as cored green apples, mango, banana, peaches, apricots, or cranberries
- cinnamon or curry
- vegetable or whole wheat pasta
- canned pumpkin
- fresh root vegetables such as sweet potatoes
- boiled popcorn
The beauty of it is the simple preparation and flexibility.
There really isn’t a recipe per se. It’s simply a method of preparing food for your flock that your birds will enjoy.
A word of caution: if you want to add beans to this dish, you must soak dried beans overnight, rinse and boil for at least 10 to 15 minutes for them to be healthy for your birds. You never want to feed raw beans and grain bake simply doesn’t do the trick with raw beans. They must be pre-cooked before adding them to your Grain Bake.
With experience, I have found that certain combinations work well with this method of cooking. For instance, cinnamon, apples, and canned pumpkin work well together for a delicious dish that is good for your bird.
Another handy aspect of this method of cooking is that you can hide items in the Grain Bake that your bird might not really enjoy on its own but is good for her. If you find that raw carrots are not her favorite thing, she might enjoy them cooked up and flavored in a Grain Bake.
Grain Bake Instructions
Here's how you make one:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease your casserole dish. This is a must or you’ll be slaving over the dish in the sink trying to remove the stubborn grains that have stuck to the dish. Flaxseed oil is a good choice.
- Add all of the ingredients you've selected. Uncooked oatmeal is a great way to begin. Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods has a nice Five-Grain rolled hot cereal that contains whole grain oats, wheat, rye, barley, triticale, and flaxseed. Add the ingredients to about half to two-thirds of the way to the top of the dish and stir well to make sure all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and soaked in the water.
- Add water to completely cover the casserole and stir well to evenly distribute water.
- Cover with casserole lid or foil and bake for an hour. Check midway through baking to see if more water is needed and add more if ingredients do not appear to be absorbing enough.
- Remove from oven when it is done cooking, the ingredients are cooked through and all of the water is absorbed. Let it cool completely.
- Portion the ingredients after cooling and store it in zip-lock bags for freezing.
- To serve, remove a bag from the freezer and let it thaw overnight. Remove from the refrigerator when thawed and serve alongside the rest of their meal.
Grain Bake is an easy way to serve a delicious portion of healthy food that is easy, flexible and enjoyable to prepare.